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“Perfection”
Review of Tamarind

Tamarind
Ranked #13 of 220 Restaurants in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $3 - $15
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed July 22, 2013

I just got 'home' from my dinner at Tamarind and feel inspired to write this review right away. One of the best meals on my two-week long Thai/Lao trip so far, and there have been many, many good meals. This may even rank right up there with one of the best meals of my life.

Tamarind has a simple yet elegant atmosphere, perched right across the street from the Nam Khan river. I arrived at 6 pm, didn't have a reservation which seemed to be the preferred mode of showing up here, yet I was offered an outside table with a good view of the street and the river.

I ordered simple -- just a soup (pumpkin/ginger/coconut) and steamed fish with sticky rice. But wow. Both dishes were a divine blend of flavors and perfectly executed. The soup was very thick and creamy, with the punch of ginger just right. It came with a homemade rice cracker (far better than the fabricated ones). The fish was intricately wrapped up in a banana leaf, tied together with a strand of bamboo, and dressed with all kinds of good herbs.

I started out ordering only water but then just for fun picked out the 'cocktail special,' the Mekong Sunset, which was a beautiful drink -- local rice whiskey, 'ahn sum' (an edible purple flower), lime, and honey. Wow.

The whole meal (including drink) came to just a bit over $10. That's a splurge for most parts of Asia, but this was well worth it. The waiters were also very attentive, coming by to give me instructions on how to approach each dish (crumble the rice crackers into the soup for full effect, which I did). Highly recommended.

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Thank happynomad32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TamarindCaroline, Owner at Tamarind, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2013

Thanks for such high praise, Happy Nomad! We love hearing when we've hit the right note for our guests.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,598 - 1,602 of 2,817 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2013

You have to eat here, but get there early as 1. They close at 21.00 and 2. It is so good, it gets fully booked!
The food is simply amazing and so is the service. The BBQ Buffalo, the fish cooked in banana leaf...my mouth is watering just thinking about it, yummy!
You must go, best food ever!

Thank Stephanie2878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

Great food in a busy restaurant. The Mok Pa was especially good. Recommend highly, worth a visit when in town.

Thank travel_fiend_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

I've been to Tamarind about 2 years back when I was in Luang Prabang and still remembered it being one of the best restaurants in LP. We had different dinner sets and tried many different cocktails, it was incredibly memorable and delicious! This was during high season so we had to make a reservation and it was so packed!

2 years later, I'm back at Tamarind. It's low season but still it was fully packed. Thank god it was only the two of us this time round so it was easy to get a seat. However, if you plan to come in a group, try to get there before 7pm or make a reservation!

I just recovered from food poisoning and wanted to treat myself to some thing fresh, clean and nice.

I went here with my friend. She ordered the pumpkin soup while I had the steamed fish with dill and basil(??) wrapped in banana leaf.

The pumpkin soup was delicious and proper pumpkin soup! It was creamy, thick, savoury with a light tinge of sweetness. It came with crispy rice cakes that went incredibly well with the soup.

The steamed fish with dill came with sticky rice and steamed vegetables. They didn't serve steamed rice here, only sticky rice which I don't think was great for my recovering stomach but I had some anyway. The steamed fish was succulent, fresh and the herbs really blended well with the meat! The best fish dish I had so far. The steamed vegetables were fresh and hearty.

The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. When they sat us down, they gave us cold paper towels to clean our hands. Also, we had short conversations with the staff and the friendly manager.

I found the place a bit expensive and would probably save it for a special occasions.

However, if you are here for short term, it's a definite must-try!

The ala-carte main courses are more "pricey" in some sense but I think the dinner sets is absolutely fantastic and good value for money as you get to try almost every single lao dish at its best!

They've a wide range of tasty and unique cocktails/mocktails. My friend had the banana honey and soy milk shake which was sweet and refreshing! You could taste the freshness of the ingredients and it wasn't too sickly sweet. It was just the right blend.

We ended off the meal with the sticky purple rice dessert. It came with a range of different desserts in small portions. I loved it!!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Vicky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

of course I have not tried all resturants in the city, but this was indeed the best in my opinion. Exciting and new tastes, explanations on how this should be eaten Lao-style, but still not annoying as some resturants tend to make these explanations.
The place was packed even in the rainyseason, so try to book in advance

1  Thank Henrikgm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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